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Archive for July, 2009

Will former NCAA Athletes be allowed to Profit from the NCAA for the Use of their Own Name and Likeness in the Future?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009
Ed O'Bannon

Ed O’Bannon

In what would be a change of NCAA policy, former NCAA athletes may soon be entitled to receive compensation for the use of their name or likeness.  Currently, former NCAA athletes are not allowed to gain royalties from the NCAA whenever the organization or member schools use athletes names or likenesses for profit on items such as video games, DVD’s or promotional items.  When an NCAA athlete signs on with a school to participate in athletics, they must sign a waiver, giving the NCAA the rights to the name, image, and likeness while they are a student athlete and beyond.  Former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon aims to challenge this policy and gain royalties for all former football and basketball student athletes from the past and future in the class action lawsuit Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaFor a full discussion about the case see Michael McCann’s article at:    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/michael_mccann/07/21/ncaa/index.html

The NCAA’s main arguments will be, if the former players are compensated for the use of their image and likeness, it would go against the NCAA’s policy of having amateur athletes, that the athletes waived their rights when they signed the required NCAA forms, giving the NCAA the rights to the images and likenesses and that if the players did not wish to play for an NCAA institution they had a choice not to sign the required forms.   O’Bannon will argue that this case is only involving former student athletes who are no longer are bound by the NCAA bylaws and that the forms giving the NCAA the right to all images and likenesses violate the governments Sherman Act due to a restraint in trade.

This case will set a precedent for all future and past NCAA athletes.  Both sides have valid arguments and I am sure the all present and future NCAA athletes will be watching closely as they all have a vested interest in the outcome.

 

Supreme Court to Decide Whether the NFL Licensing Agreement Violates Antitrust Laws

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

nfl1The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to take on the case of American Needle v. National Football League which is scheduled to be heard later this year or in early 2010.  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2009391296_apussupremecourtnfl.html

The case will have a significant impact on all sports leagues and will determine whether the NFL is acting as a single entity or 32 different businesses when negotiating licensing agreements or other contracts on behalf of NFL franchises.  The case arose after the NFL signed an exclusive apparel contract to Reebok International Ltd in 2001.  American Needle was one of many firms who manufactured head gear for some NFL teams prior to 2001, and they argue that the the NFL is breaching antitrust laws by dealing with only one company in outfitting teams.  The NFL seeks to end antitrust law suites against  them in the future by arguing the NFL is acting as a single entity when entering into contracts on behalf of NFL franchises.

This case will have a significant impact on all sports leagues going forward.  If the NFL wins, it will not have to fear being suied for antitrust lawsuits in the future which could significantly impact how all sports leagues conduct business.

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